Ska Brewing Taps Cannonball Creek for Collaboration

March 14,2023

The Colorado Brewers Guild Collaboration Fest returns for a second year in 2023, after a two-year hiatus caused by the pandemic. Ska Brewing is partnering with long-time colleague but first-time collaborator, Cannonball Creek Brewing for its entry into this year's festival. The two brewers are releasing a West Coast Pils for the event, and in limited quantities in the Four Corners and out of the Cannonball Creek taproom in Golden, Colorado. By Connor Shreve. This story is sponsored by Tafoya Barrett & Associates and Pop’s Truck & RV Center

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Ska Brewing is celebrating the spirit of craft beer. Durango's libation linchpin hosted brewers from Golden's Cannonball Creek Brewing to create an entry for Collaboration Fest 2023, one of the country's most creative beer festivals. This edition of the Local News Network is brought to you by Tafoya Barrett and Associates and Pop's Truck and RV Center. I'm Connor Shreve. Ska Brewing co-founder Dave Thibodeau says the partnership with Cannonball Creek is overdue.

They're longtime friends of ours. They've been in the brewing world for quite some time. They all three of them that are here, Jonathan and Jason and Hutch, all used to work at the Mountain Sun Brewery in Boulder, and that's how our COO Breezley knows them.

For Cannonball Creek Brewer Brian Hutchinson working on a recipe at Ska World Headquarters is an experience unlike any he's had.

Yeah, so it's a lot of fun, you know? From the get go. Obviously we had the base of the recipe was planned out ahead of time of course as it's being brewed. But yeah man, we're still just like discussing what would happen if we dry hop it this way versus that way. So that kind of exchange of ideas is just constantly happening. You know, obviously even throughout the brew day.

Brewing's small world is part of what drives Collaboration Fest. At its heart is the idea that what might be proprietary in other industries isn't when it comes to making craft beer. The Colorado Brewers Guild hosts the festival to keep the spirit alive, even as the industry grows.

Hutch and I both used to sit on the board of directors at the Colorado Brewers Guild when this first idea was first hatched. So the whole collaboration part and the Fest is all in that spirit of helping each other up and rising tide kind of situation. And you learn a lot from your fellow brewers. Everybody knows something you don't know. That's the beauty of brewing we were just talking about it, Is the more you know, the less you know.

And while Ska produces more than 20 times the amount of beer that Cannonball Creek does, respect, when it comes to the craft, goes both ways.

I don't want to belittle them by saying it's a brewer's brewery. I mean that in the endearest of ways, because brewers don't always want the trends themselves. You know, they want good beer. And they want reasonable beer. A lot of the time that's definitely me. And Cannonball Creek's like one of those places you can just count on.

Brews at Collaboration Fest can run anywhere from absolutely crazy to pretty boring. What the Ska and Cannonball Creek teams came up with was a beer that lands somewhere in the middle of that spectrum. A West Coast pils.

It's kind of a more modern style, and I like making beers that I want to drink. I think these guys are the same way. And we all love our hops, but sometimes we don't want to drink a 7% IPA. Sometimes we want to drink three or four beers and, you know, be able to make it through the rest of the day. And so, yeah, it's just a super clean, crisp, but bright and hoppy beer that you can have a couple of, you know, and it's not going to weigh you down, so.

Not being weighed down is a good approach for Collaboration Fest because of how different the atmosphere is from a typical beer fest. Thibodeau recommends a different approach as a drinker too.

So the reasons that people might collaborate are all over the place. But to find that out, to get the story, to hear about the brew day, understand why people are friends and then taste the fruits of those labors and see if you can get a sense of that character, like in the beer itself, which you definitely can. And that's what Collaboration Fest is all about.

The beer will be available in limited quantities in the Four Corners region and in the Cannonball Creek Taproom as well as during Collaboration Fest later this month. Other details are available at Thanks for watching this edition of the Local News Network. I'm Connor Shreve.


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